On Thursday Jan. 29, Chancellor Dubois reported that he had accepted the final recommendations made by the Niner Nation Remembrance Commission for the memorialization of the tragic events that occurred on April 30. The commission was tasked with honoring both Reed Parlier and Riley Howell and determining the future use of Kennedy 236.
“As I have said before, April 30, 2019 will not define us. Instead, Niner Nation will be defined by the strength of our collective response,” said Dubois in an email to the UNC Charlotte community.
The commission gathered input from all of Niner Nation through emails, surveys and listening sessions as to best meet the wishes of the public.
The first recommendation was for the construction of a permanent memorial in Belk Plaza between the fountain and Kennedy building that can be communal and interactive. The memorial will aim to honor both Howell and Parlier, as well as all those physically and psychologically impacted. The construction of the memorial will be overseen by a jury of design and an advisory board that will make up one collective committee headed by Dean of Arts and Architecture Brook Muller.
Other recommendations include a series of exhibits to be mounted in Atkins Library, first temporarily and then permanently, as well as displays in the Popp-Martin Student Union and online. A Day of Remembrance is also in the works to acknowledge all affected by the events of April 30 for the next three years, as well as named scholarships dedicated to Reed and Parlier. Additional recommendations include collecting and preserving oral documentation and archivable memorabilia, and considering more recommendations for the future remembrance of the tragic events.
In regards to the future use of Kennedy 236 and adjacent classrooms, the verdict was to eliminate the future use as classrooms and instead repurpose the space for contemplation as well as memoriam.
Chancellor Dubois also reminds Niner Nation of the one year anniversary remembrance to be held on campus that will work to both unite the University and the greater community. On April 30 of this year there will be no classes and the Division of Student Affairs is working on activities for the involvement of the entire University in honoring and remembering the tragedy of April 30, 2019.
There will also be a memorial concert on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are limited and are to be sold on a first- come, first-served basis on the Blumenthal website with a student admission of $10 and a public admission of $25.
Dubois concludes his email with the following sentiment, “It is my great hope that the actions we’re taking to remember and honor the victims will serve as a meaningful and lasting reminder of the strength, compassion and enduring spirit within our UNC Charlotte community.”